Saturday, January 27, 2018

Mali Gras: Pre-Tournament Planning

               This week’s topic…is something I’m saving for next week. I am going to introduce a new type of post taking a look at particular crews that are powerful in the meta and how best to approach them. However, the fellow I was going to interview about it is a bit busy with UK Masters this weekend, so I’m taking a detour. Let’s have a quick convo about a tournament that’s coming up, and something that occurred to me for how I can approach it.

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               On the third, I’m taking a trip up to Bristol, TN for a tournament at DeWayne’s World Comics and Games. I’ll be able to do this in part because of funding that you, the MM community have delivered through our Patreon account. Oh, what’s that? You don’t know about Patreon?
               First of all, I know you’re lying, because I’ve written about it on here before. But I’ll do the spiel anyways. Patreon is a way for fans like you to support content creators like Malifaux Musings by donating some money every month. In exchange, you get to unlock individual and group rewards levels. Higher donations mean higher rewards, but all I really want from you, humble reader is $1 a month. I know you’re good for it. If you feel like chipping in more, that’d be great, but let’s get start with $1. Just head over to www.patreon.com/malifauxmusings
               Ahem. Spiel over.
               Anyways, as far as I know this upcoming tournament is going to be Gaining Grounds 2018 with standard rotation. I’m pushing to get rid of the close deployment in Round 1, but for the time being let’s assume it’s staying. That makes the three round tournament 1) Close Deployment + Public Executions, 2) Standard + Ply for Information 3) Corner Deployment + Ours. I don’t believe we have scheme pools yet, but let’s take a look and do some pre-planning.

Round 1

               So, obviously this first round game is going to be about applying a bit of the old ultraviolence, as they say. I’ll probably be playing Collodi a lot this tournament, and this round will be no exception. It’s the killiest Neverborn crew I have, and the one with which I’ve had the most experience. They’re pretty close to finished being painted, and fittingly it’s almost Mardi Gras season. They’ll be able to bring a bit of the festive fun to Bristol this round.

Just point them towards the second line.


               I think the main thing here will be to stay back a bit from the front lines, depending on my opponents. I don’t want to get charged straight off the bat. I can handle a bit of melee, but there are limits. It’s possible I may just deploy per a normal game’s range. In any case, the point of this game will be to bring in the hard hitters and leave the opponent with a trio of unpleasant options to face. Nekima is the first threat. Normally I would pair her up with the Hooded Rider as the other hitter, but we’re going to be in combat early on here and I don’t want to risk losing him early. This may be a good game to break out the Mysterious Emissary, as his condition removal can help to knock some of the Blood off of the enemy crew’s hands to balance out the numbers. Maybe some Stitched can go in that slot instead, or Graves. I’ll have to look closer for what works best when the game comes around. If I do use Stitched I’ll stick with Fated, but if not this may be a game to think about using Bag of Props instead. The Marionettes handing out some Focus to Collodi may help with wrecking the opponents’ crew.

Round 2

               This round’s more about activation control and scheme running than round 1, but a healthy dose of killing is important for defense as well. Killing a model with Ply (or dealing severe damage) knocks the condition off, so that’s a good way to even things up if I fall behind. Getting a few more activations in here than my opponent will be important. The Emissary’s summoning of Changelings (hopefully, though every time I want to summon with him the cards are not there) will help with this, and he can clear the condition with his attack. I’m going to try and come out shooting here, but this one will require playing cagily and killing models before they can get over to me. It’ll be much more about out-activating the opponent early on, then surgically swinging the strategy around with the latter turn activations. So, yeah, more Collodi. Not much else to say. Let’s move on to the next one.

Round 3

               Now, I’ve got a couple of ideas here. One of them is to just keep playing Collodi. There’s nothing specifically about this that he’s not good for, though without Vasilisa or some speed I’ll have a harder time spreading up field and attacking. On the other hand, I have an idea to come at it from a different angle. One of the quirks that happened between later in the playtest process to the final version of GG2018 was the reintroduction of 0SS henchmen counting as 10ss for the purpose of this strategy. That means that a Jacob Lynch crew gets a free 10 stones in Ours. Plus, since he can be buried and then return after being killed, that makes it even tastier. Seems like a pretty good option to me. So, it’s time for some more…

I will literally use any opportunity to put this banner back out.


               I’m thinking a crew with four smashy models is going to be pretty clutch in the current version of GG2018, and this crew’s got it. We’re talking Nekima. We’re talking Hooded Rider. Throw in Lynch and Hungering Darkness for flavor, and it’s gonna be a rough time for whoever comes up against it. I’m planning on working in some cheap activations to get the model count up a bit. Depleted may be a good choice for this, as they count towards the strategy and give us more ways to get Brilliance into the crew. And, of course, Changelings are always a good inclusion. Plus, with this many big beaters, there will be a lot of models to borrow nasty attacks from in my crew.

               So, that’s the game plan. We’ll see how much of it survives the crew building portion of the tournament, but it’s a start.